Our Father by Bob Merrick 07/20/2015

Shared by Denise Merrick on May 31, 2016

Our Father (Marty) 
reflections by Bob Merrick
July 20, 2015

“He was almost 18 years my senior. But when we compare our childhood activities, we shared many activities~ time spent out doors, playing base ball… I pitched (too) but ( I)  was a better catcher. We agreed those were the only positions. We both were bat boys. One of the benefits (of that) was that bat boys got to keep discarded equipment (like) scuffed balls and, if you were clever,a cracked bat could be repaired w/ a single nail and tape. Perfect for the sand lot.

 We both went to the Saturday morning movies.  Westerns were the most viewed. Marty knew most of the classic westerns word for word. But if any one missed this fact, he saw in those cowboys a ideal of a honorable life lived by rules and a code.  That I am sure was one of the reasons he served his country long and proud.

 I have much more I could share, but I want to finish with this.  I have asked God when I get to the next life (that )I wanted to be greeted by my child-hood dog. But it would be cool if I was on the pier and the old salt standing next to me said “What bait are you usin’ ?”  and, “I like that ball  cap”. 

 Marty (was)not the perfect father in law. Just the perfect one(that) God gave me.


Love,  Bob


Memories of Marty-by John McCravy 07/18/2015

Shared by Denise Merrick on May 31, 2016

Marty and I knew each other from age four and we were the same age. Both of our fathers worked on Fort Jackson during World War two and we lived one block apart while living on base.


Behind Marty's house was a field full of real glider planes. He and I would elude the MP's and spend hours in the cockpits of those planes shooting down Japanese and German fighter planes to protect our troops on the ground. Of course, we ALWAYS won every battle in the air with the enemy!


In 1948, civilians had to move off of Fort Jackson and we ended up living next door to each other. But, he and I still had our own personal connection to the fort. We became bat boys and foul ball chasers and scoreboard keepers for the post baseball team. Their field was only a mile from where we lived and we walked there and back to every home game.


We got to hobnob with many future major league ball players. Including Willie Mays. Vinegar Bend Mizell. Roger Craig. Faye Throneberry Bubba Phillips. Frank House. Frank Sullivan. Joe Cunningham and many others. In short, Marty and I were living a boyhood dream that all of our friends were envious of.


Marty himself was a pretty darn good pitcher. He could throw a baseball fast enough for it go through a brick wall and was just wild enough where you better not dig in to try and get a good swing on one of his pitches! I was offered a pro baseball contract by Kansas City after my senior high school season, and had faced four pitchers during high school who ended up in the majors and Marty was the only one of the five that I dare not dig my cleats in too deep so I could duck to get out of the way when he was a bit wild with his pitches. The ones I played against who ended up pitching in the majors, I hit like owned them but, not Marty. He may have missed his calling by not pursuing baseball as a career. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.


Marty's father, Milton, took me fishing for the first time. Of course that's AFTER he had Marty and I knee deep in a creek with a seine catching minnows for bait. I actually thought we were having fun chasing and catching those minnows. To Marty, It was old hat and something that just had to be endured before we went fishing.


We did everything together growing up. From shooting marbles to forming a neighborhood baseball team that traveled every Saturday on our bikes to other neighborhoods to play their teams. We were good and seldom lost. Of course Marty and I both thought that WE were the reasons that we were almost unbeatable!


And, then Marty graduated from high school and joined the Navy and had a sterling thirty plus year career serving his and our country with honor. While home on leave early in his career, my eventual wife and I introduced him to Betty on a blind date. Betty and she were in the same class and best friends. The rest is history. It was instant love between Marty and Betty. Still have photos of the four of us from the wedding. What four beautiful and handsome young people we were back then.


Also have on my dresser top Betty and Marty's 50th wedding anniversary picture so I pass by them every morning and say hello. Sounds corny but it's true.


The world is a much sadder place today with Marty's passing and I feel like the first chapter in my own personal book of life has come to a tragic and way too sudden end.


We can take solace even though, in baseball terms: "there's no joy in Mudville tonight." In heaven, in a room of one of the many mansions there that we are promised are waiting for all true believers, there is joy! A very special person has joined The Good Lord's team! Marty Warren!


Love you and Betty and already miss you more than you'll ever know, Marty.







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